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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

save some for the fish

Or at least for January. This is the first real day of rain this season. We’ve had a couple little raindrop events over the past month but nothing measurable. It started raining at about six this morning, I think. At noon we had 1.5 inches of rain, by 3pm we were at 2.5 inches (6cm)! And then, well, that was about it.

Now, this is a much higher figure/measurement than is being reported by the weather stations from various points around the area. They’re reporting mostly in the 1 to 2 inch range so far. I can’t explain the discrepancy. Do I live in some sort of hydrologic vortex? Perhaps – interestingly, the district of LA that’s just a few blocks away from me is called El Sereno. Which I’ve been led to believe means the dewy or foggy place in Spanish. And we do seem to get a lot of overnight-morning condensation/precipitation/dew relative to the surrounding area. I wonder how long it’s been called/considered El Sereno. Not the district so much (wiki says 1915 for that) but the land, the place.

One geographic explanation for this may be the presence of the “Monterey Hills” just to the west. (I don’t know what that entire hill-range is called, there’s a bunch of hills out there that seem like they’re probably all one related range. MH will do for now.) They’re not big, just like 400 feet above the surrounding area but maybe that’s just enough to bump those clouds up a little as they pass over causing them to cool and dump a little more of their rain-load than they would have otherwise, without the hills. It’s not much of a hypothesis to go on but I got nothing else.

So it’s looking like my predicted cold and snowy! winter right here in town might already being brewing. (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? I think it’s going to snow in LA this winter for the first time in a very long time. 1950’s?) I can’t wait to hear it, “Dude, it’s like totally snowing out there, man!” Of course, there’s nothing really unusual about getting this much rain. That’s just the way it rains here. A winter’s worth in several storms. And I can remember much bigger October rain events than this – 2004, anybody? But it sure feels like a lot since I was only expecting a few brief showers and we haven’t had any significant rainfall since (wow! just looked it up) the end of March, an entire equinox ago.

For the record, the average annual rainfall here in my backyard over the last seven years has been 69cm (27 inches). Median: (interestingly similar) 67cm. High: 144cm (04/05). Low 16cm (06/07). So, today we got about 9% of our annual average, 38% of low, 4% of high.


JustinM said...

I've always considered the three sets of hills as the San Rafael, Monterey, and Mt. Washington Hills, all forming a separation of the San Gabriel Valley from Los Angeles. But I have nothing to back that up with definitive evidence, it's just how I've always viewed it.

mindful mule said...

Justin: Yes, but there’s also names like Elephant Hill, which may be the same as what I used to call Flat Top (where, in high school, we used to party with the west-ridge girls), and Montecito/Debs Park, and Elysian Heights and Griffith Park. These all seem to be a part of the broader chain. There’s a lot of overlap here, I’m sure. There must be some overarching name, though. It could be the Arroyo Seco Hills, or The 110 Hills, or the Figueroa Hills (I kinda like this one). But then maybe you’ve got to include Echo Park and Silver Lake and the Hollywood Hills and then pretty soon (I’m starting to think) this is all just the southeast terminus of the Santa Monica Mountains…?

JustinM said...

My guess would be that they are all part of the San Rafael Hills, as Rancho San Rafael encompassed all of the area as far back as the late 1700s.

Or maybe there is no specific name and you can name them yourself.

mindful mule said...

San Rafael Hills sounds good. I like the history. We wouldn’t want me to be in charge of naming them or they’d end up as Mindful Mule’s Mounds.

JustinM said...

Better than my suggestion of Hillary's Humps.

mindful mule said...

LOL. She does like running through those hills.